One of the most underrated options for high schoolers is career and technical education (CTE).

🚂 This is entry 1 of the blogtrain CTE.

High school CTE programs get kids ready to enter specific careers after graduation. And there are many to choose from. For example, in Pima County, Arizona, where we live, our son is training to become a firefighter. Others are getting ready for nursing, VR game design, HVAC repair, and so much more. More than that, in some states, career and technical education is offered for free to high schoolers.

Here some reasons why we are taking advantage of CTE with our kids:

  1. CTE teaches kids can cool, practical things that are useful inside and outside of their chosen career fields.
  2. Depending on the program, kids can also earn college credit.
  3. CTE prepares students for immediate employment after graduation, should they want or need it. Maybe they enter the workforce right away. Maybe they just want a better-paying summer job during college.
  4. CTE empowers kids with a sense of accomplishment.
  5. CTE gives confidence in learning new things.
  6. CTE gives access to mentors.
  7. CTE can save thousands of dollars. The career and technical training some pay for out-of-pocket after high school is offered for free during high school. Similarly, because CTE allows students to explore a career field before they graduate, if they discover they don’t like it, they have discovered that for free, again saving thousands of dollars in college tuition and wasted time.
  8. Kids who add CTE to other areas of skill and knowledge, especially areas that are not closely related, receive many benefits including greater financial stability, much like double-majors who do the same. Also see: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstien.

How high schoolers use their education is up to them. But CTE programs provide enormous value and should not be ignored. In a future post, I’ll give some advice on how to get started.